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What exactly is the root of all this antipathy toward Brussels sprouts? Is it the color? Sometimes it's not easy being green. Or yellowish-green.
Is it the smell? You know what I'm talking about. Boil Brussels sprouts on your stovetop for 10 minutes and the neighbors will begin to wonder which farm animal you recently adopted.
Is it your mother's fault? If she served mushy, waterlogged, brown Brussels sprouts when you were a kid, it's not your fault that you hate them.
Though Brussels sprouts have been around since ancient times, they are named after the city of Brussels in Belgium, where they have been cultivated (and appreciated) since Medieval times. Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica family, so they're related to broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kolrabi, admittedly none of which are going to win any popularity contests. That's why Brussels sprouts taste like cabbage and are sometimes referred to as "mini cabbages."
Sweet honey and pears act as a foil to the earthy Brussels sprouts.
This roasted brussels sprouts and pears recipe is simple yet elegant and will appeal to even the most confirmed brussels sprouts skeptic.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pears Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pears Ingredients
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 large Bartlett or Bosc pears, unpeeled, and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
Salt and several cranks of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts, chopped
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pears Recipe Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large saucepan, boil Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes; drain.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except walnuts) and toss until vegetables are well coated.
Lay vegetables in a single layer on a tin foil lined baking sheet (for easy clean-up).
Roast for 20 minutes, turning once, or until vegetables have a few brown spots.
Place cooked vegetables in a serving dish. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and some extra salt and thyme. Serve immediately.
Tips for Liking Brussels Sprouts:
1. Select brightly colored Brussels sprouts that are free of black spots or other blemishes, which indicate they are old.
2. Choose smaller sprouts, which tend to be nuttier in flavor and less "cabbagy" tasting.
3. DO NOT overcook them. Overcooked Brussels sprouts release more sulfur, which causes that smell. You know the one.
4. How you cook Brussels sprouts makes a big difference in how they taste. First par-boil Brussels sprouts and "shock" them. Partially boil the sprouts for 2-3 minutes, and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water; this will stop the cooking process and maintain the sprouts' vibrant color. Then you can saute them on the stovetop or roast them in the oven.
Learning to Love Brussels Sprouts - Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pears Recipe
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